Standing in front of the Anderson School District 3 sign, Superintendent Kathy Hipp wore green sunglasses in a video posted to YouTube as she announced something “a little green” for district employees for St. Patrick’s Day.
“There’s this group of people on St. Patrick’s Day who think of leprechauns, clovers, green and green drinks all through.” said Hipp. “I thought today let’s talk about St. Patrick’s Day Green. What’s the one thing we can all rally around? Green on your bank account.
The district board approved a $1,000 supplement for full-time employees and a $500 supplement for part-time employees.
Home to Crescent High School and Starr-Iva Middle School, marketing and communications coordinator Dylan McCullough said the district spent just under $400,000 on supplements for its 360 to 365 employees. The supplements came from the balance of the district general fund.
The announcement came almost a year to the day, March 15, when Hipp was told they would be closing school buildings due to the pandemic. She highlighted the good work of staff in keeping students fed, ensuring every student had a Chromebook at home, maintaining instruction despite the chaos, and reopening the school for face-to-face lessons in August. Hipp said they are on day 119 of returning to in-person classes.
“It’s just a big shout out to all of you for all you do for students every day,” Hipp said. “So I want to thank you as we celebrate … the first anniversary of COVID and hopefully the only anniversary of COVID. You did an outstanding job!”
McCullough said staff received a similar $600 supplement in November. Although the money helps, he said the council would rather employees be paid what they deserve than have to give them top-ups.
“We know that most, if not all, of our staff have had to work very hard and go the extra mile every day during all of this,” McCullough said. “Especially with us being face to face all year as we work on it, it’s just a way of saying thank you to them and I think they [the staff] I really appreciate.”
McCullough said he doesn’t know if any future supplements are planned, but said the district will continue face-to-face instruction for the next school year.